The power of sisu
Kristine Smolsky was a former co-worker of mine, and she and I were driving home in her car one evening after a work meeting. I had recently submitted my letter of resignation from the organization. Kristine now congratulated me on my decision, telling me how proud of me she was for standing up for what I believed in.
“Have you ever heard the word sisu?” Kristine looked over at me and said.
I had never heard the word before, and I told Kristine so.
“I want you to look it up when you get home,” she said. “Because you’re that word.”
This was what I found on Wikipedia:
“Sisu is a Finnish concept described as stoic determination, tenacity of purpose, grit, bravery, resilience, and hardiness and is held by Finns. … It is generally considered not to have a literal equivalent in English.”
At that time, I had not started writing; however, I was certainly on a search to find my life’s purpose. So when Kristine mentioned sisu, even before I looked it up, I knew that it would come in handy one day. And it has because it is the reason I strive to live up to my dreams and keep my vision in focus.
Sadly, I found out that Kristine had passed away from an illness in December 2018. I was devastated, but who she was as a person, our connection, and her having shared with me this powerful word from her culture have all ameliorated my loss. Sisu has kept me going on this journey of becoming a writer.